What Are Your Spending Plans for the Holidays?

By Simon Cooper
November 20, 2020

If you’re like most Australians, you’re tightening the purse strings this year. A new study shows that nearly 10% of Australians aren’t planning to buy any Christmas presents this year, almost double that of last year.

The survey goes on to say that only 20% of us plan on spending more than $500 on gifts this year, down a third from this time last year.

Wish Lists Are Smaller

People are asking for less, too. Significantly, more people are asking for no gifts or are scratching luxury items from their wish lists. Not surprisingly, of those who are asking, gift cards and money are the gestures most requested.

People Aren’t Spending What They Don’t Have

In years past, it wasn’t unusual to see consumers overspend on credit cards because they knew they could make up the difference over the first few months of the year. Not so this year. Finances are tighter than ever, and people are only willing to spend money they absolutely know they have.

We’re buying less, but we want it to be local.

Nearly 40% of Australian consumers want to purchase from Australian companies, understanding any money put into the economy is good for everyone’s bottom line. Look for the Australian Made tag on goods if you’re buying. Companies go through a rigorous certification process to prove they are homegrown.Saving Money Means Staying Home

Aussies are opting out of lavish Christmas holidays, too. Instead, they’re perfecting the art of the ‘staycation.’ Travelling intrastate or even venturing out to enjoy their immediate area is a fun way to save big.

Money-Saving Ideas

There are great ways to still enjoy the season without breaking the bank.


We want you to have a festive Christmas season while staying within your means. It all starts with an iron-clad budget. Understanding where you’re spending money can call attention to an area or two where you can pull back and allocate those dollars toward gifts, meals or celebratory activities.

It’s never too late in the year to start. We like this budgeting tool. It’s detailed enough to include all areas of your spending, making it easy to add in some gifts.

Maximise Discounts

There are hundreds of apps dedicated to making sure you never pay full price. Just typing in a Google search will turn up all kinds of apps that will give you cashback, secret discount codes and alerts on deals. If you want to shop locally, head to the sale section. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount in person if you can find it cheaper online.


There’s a reason Pinterest is wildly popular, especially around Christmas — they have a million and one DIY gift ideas. Many can be made by spending just a fraction of what buying a gift would cost. You get to save money and pour your heart into a project for someone you care about!

Shop the Sales, with Caution

Look for deep discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but do your research to ensure you’re really getting a deal. Don’t be fooled by a deep discount alone. Sometimes, places will hike the ‘normal price’ significantly to make the sale price seem more appealing. Shop according to the dollar amount you can spend, not the discount being offered.

Keep Saving and Planning

This too shall pass. Now is a great time to enlist the help of an expert to look over your finances and help you get or stay on track to the kind of financial future you want. Reach out for a free consultation with one of Australia’s leading financial advisors to discuss a simple and straightforward roadmap to your own financial freedom.

It’s the best gift you can give yourself and your future.

Simon Cooper

Managing Director

Financial Advisor. Entrepreneur. Co-founder and managing directory at Forward360, Simon ensures all clients get the financial advice they need to reach and exceed their financial goals — both personal and business.

Get our best strategies, tools, and support send straight to your inbox

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.